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VG Editorials Mission Statement

Our Mission

Time and time again, we have seen clickbait articles and grifters come into our space and ruining it for everyone else. We have seen the lies and the concern trolls say things do not matter in the slightest. Our Mission at VG Editorials is to ensure people understand what is really going on in the industry right now. Let us hope we can restore faith in the community.

The Case Against Summer Variants in Pokemon Masters EX

Content Warning: While nothing NSFW will be shown in the following article, it will discuss serious topics such as pedophilia and child abuse.

Co-starring William Defoe and Gex the Gecko

On July 12th, Pokemon Masters EX had revealed summer variants for fan favorite trainers Gloria and Marnie to celebrate the season. This is the scenario I’ve dreaded the most upon the game’s announcement two years ago. Not only are summer variants a common practice in gacha mobile games, but to put it in a game based on a franchise where some of the cast are children, not to mention said franchise’s target audience being children, is a recipe for disaster regarding “those” type of people.

Gacha mobile games are exactly what it means, video games you play on your phone with a gacha system that requires in-game currency, which can also be obtain using real currency, to roll for whatever items or characters you need to progress through the main story. During seasonal events such as holidays, they add seasonal-themed variants of some characters with good stats and/or abilities for players to try and get, and on summer-related events, the variants are usually swimwear. These type of summer variants are seen as lowbro by some players because swimsuits are viewed as inherently sexualized and because most of these variants are women, it devalues whatever strong female character the game has into mere fanservice fodder for whales (a term used to describe hardcore mobile players) to gush over. But it wasn’t always this way.

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/old_time_swin_suits_8554.jpg

A long time ago, before the early 20th century, swimwear use to look like your typical modest clothing, as shown from the above image. This was the cultural norm back then. Heck, even back in those days, it was illegal for us men to go topless in the beach and pool areas. It wasn’t until the roaring 20’s onward that people started to show more skin in their bathing suits, so nowadays, people will look you strangely for still wearing those old-timey swimwear. But alas, we also have to mention our society is dominated by the Male Gaze, in which everything is shown from a man’s perspective, and how anything it touches becomes sexualized, with swimsuits being one of its victims. And upon my research for this article, I’ve learned that even the old-timey bathing suits got sexualized back then. It’s because of this that we have a large amount of swimsuit variants of these female characters in gacha mobile games.

When Pokemon Masters was first announced in 2019, my worst fear was them also falling into the same summer trend Nintendo’s other mobile titles, Fire Emblem Heroes and Dragalia Lost, have followed to appeal to these whales. Unlike those two aforementioned titles, whose target audiences are much older, Pokemon is a franchise aimed primarily towards kids, which makes some of the characters in this game such as Gloria and Marnie also kids to appeal to them. Therefore, giving them swimwear variants will be seen as creepy in the eyes of older players because of their knowledge of how sexualized swimsuits are in our society. They also attract a far worse group: shotacons and lolicons.

For those of you unfamiliar of what shotacons and lolicons are, they’re essentially pedophiles who are attracted to fictional minors. Shotacons are into boys, and lolicons are into girls. Both are largely revered by society because of how much of a serious issue child exploitation and child trafficking are right now the real world and how much they have physically and mentally scarred many kids who were victims of such acts. Combine this with video games and the Male Gaze, you’ll have a PR disaster waiting to happen. These pedophiles will bring in the same arguments to defend their actions like “they’re not real” or “you’re the pedophile for thinking like that,” forgetting that any normal human knows the difference between fantasy and reality but also know that being attracted to fictional children is an abnormal behavior that could snowball its way to real children.

In conclusion, the recent summer variants in Pokemon Masters EX has only reinstated my worst fears for the game because of my knowledge of swimsuits being inherently sexualized due to the Male Gaze, Pokemon being a kid-oriented franchise, and the amount of pedophiles it would draw in because of those swimsuits. At first, one solution I had in mind was a complete ban of swimsuits for anyone under 18 so minors would have to wear those old-timey bathing suits, but as I’ve already mentioned about my research, even those got sexualized back then. Another solution was abolishing the Male Gaze, but I feel like just what happened to swastikas, once a vile group touches something innocent, there is no way to reverse it back to its pure form even if the group in question is no longer around. So now I’m fresh out of options on this issue, but I do hope that somewhere someone else has thought of a more concrete solution that will stop this mess once and for all.

Smash’s Redemption Arc

Apologies for the hiatus, for I was busy with work and Astral Chain (great game btw, though it ended really abruptly). This article was meant to be made after Pyra and Mythra were released as our latest DLC fighters for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and before the beginning of E3 2021, where everyone’s sure the next fighter is scheduled to be revealed at. Hardcore fans who have been following the news since its first teaser reveal back in March 2018 noticed something about the character choices for Fighters Pass 2. All 4 (5 if we count Mythra) characters are meant to tie up loose ends on some of the criticisms towards the roster. It’s almost as if this pass is like a redemption arc, which could help narrow down who the final 2 fighters will be.

Min Min for the Win Win

Let’s begin with both Min Min and the two aforementioned Aegis Blades. Masahiro Sakurai has explained in a previous interview on how the lack of an ARMS character and a Xenoblade 2 character in the base roster was due to bad timing. The roster was finalized before both games came out, meaning they’ve missed their chance, so to make up for it, we were given a Spring Man assist trophy and a bonus Rex Mii costume for purchasing the first Fighter Pass. When the second pass was greenlighted, he decided to include an ARMS character and XC2 character. Min Min was chosen upon request by ARMS producer Kosuke Yabuki, and while Rex was planned alongside Pyra and Mythra, he was yet again shafted when there were technical issues regarding their Driver & Blade gimmick.

He will never be a memory

Final Fantasy VII use to be a meme for having the worst representation in Smash Bros. history, having only the same 2 songs from the last Smash game and zero new content in the base game of Ultimate. Even Dragon Quest, despite being owned by the same company as FF, had more content prior. There have been rumors about how Cloud was almost cut from the initial roster because of Square Enix, explaining the lack of new content. A educated guess could be made that in order to keep Cloud in the base game, they would add in Sephiroth as DLC and bring in the missing FFVII content fans were begging for. Now FFVII is one of the more decently repped games in Smash, much to the dismay of fans of other FF titles.

Mining Away

Steve is the most debatable for this speculation since Minecraft is the only new IP that wasn’t represented in the base game prior. However, it’s been revealed by former Minecraft production director Daniel Kaplan that negotiations to get Steve in Smash went as far back as 5 years (meaning 2015 at that point in time). Steve has one of the most complex movesets for someone with such a simplistic design, so it’s understandable as to why he’s been held off for DLC, where the development team are given enough time to work on him.

Buy the remakes!

We now know that the first 4 to 5 characters were either considered or negotiated for Smash, allowing us to guess who might be the final 2 fighters to complete the DLC pass. Will Zelda get a brand new character since Brawl to celebrate its 35th anniversary? Will Sonic finally get a second rep after being solo for 3 games in a row? Will Rayman finally get promoted after first appearing as a trophy in the last game and now a spirit in this game? Or will Sakurai go even further beyond and include someone like Ayumi Tachibana, who was once considered all the way back in Melee?

Super Mario Splatfest

Well then, the announcement for Splatoon 3 came out of nowhere, and it’s coming out on the Switch instead of its eventual successor (some Nintendo titles such as Mario Kart come once every system). To celebrate, I’ll be going over my experience with the final FINAL splatfest of Splatoon 2, which is Mario-themed to celebrate the series’ 35th anniversary.

The Mario Splatfest has you choose between two iconic power-up items from the series: the common Super Mushrooms and the rare Super Stars. I’ve chosen Team Super Star because 10 seconds of invincibility is all worth it to get across tricky enemy blockades and spike-covered floors. It lasted for 3 days like the other Splatfest encores.

The first day was rather frustrating because I was constant internet disconnections, which got me banhammered several times, making grinding to reach King/Queen status longer than it should’ve taken. The second day was just me spending time playing Salmon Run with one of my online friends, who just recently gotten the game and unfortunately picked the opposite team, so we couldn’t play a Splatfest Turf War together. Once she was done with Salmon Run for the day, I went back to playing the Splatfest. The final day was the same as the second day. Throughout these 3 days, I’ve been facing my own teammates most of the time, meaning Team Super Star had more members than Team Super Mushroom, which only mean one thing…

Team Super Mushroom was at an advantage to gaining more clout than Team Super Star, since you earn zero clout for winning against your own teammates, resulting in their eventual victory. This marks the second time Pearl has won the final Splatfest (the first time being Chaos vs. Order, which resulted the theme setting for Splatoon 3). That’s all the Splatfest articles for now, so I’ll be seeing you next year when the game finally hits in stores.

Zelda’s Confusing Time Travel Shenanigans

Age of false advertisement

Happy belated new year, everyone. Sorry for the lack of a new article last month, as I was busy trying to 100% Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, which was created to keep up the hype train for the sequel to Breath of the Wild. The game was advertised to be a prequel that takes 100 years before the events of the first BotW game, as we’ve only seen bits of the events through flashback cutscenes. But once you’ve reached midway through the game, you realize that this wasn’t a prequel after all. In fact, we should’ve known it wasn’t one since the very beginning of the game, when we see the little egg guardian traveling back in time. At first, I thought the BotW timeline was following the fixed timeline theory, where any changes in the past were meant to happen and there’s nothing you can do to change the future, but once the descendants of the champions appeared from a time portal brought by the same guardian, I soon realize that it’s following the multiverse theory, where any changes in the past splits the timeline into multiple paths, just like the official Zelda timeline. And speaking of, this article will be focused on the many time travel shenanigans the series has implemented to explain said timeline and how none of this makes any sense in the grand scheme of things.

The game that started this whole timeline mess

Ocarina of Time was the first Zelda game to have time travel involved with its plot, as well as being a similar gimmick used in a Link to the Past and its sequel, a Link Between Worlds, to travel between two different versions of Hyrule. Here, it looks to be following the dynamic timeline theory, where it’s a singular timeline and any changes to the past completely alters the future, because of the magic bean items you buy from the child timeline. They grow up into flying platform plants used to reach hard to reach areas containing goodies such as heart pieces in the adult timeline. But those plants don’t appear until you travel back into the child timeline and plant them there, thus altering the adult timeline now having those plants existing. Easy to understand for how this series’ time travel works, right? Well unfortunately, the game also throws in a bit of fixed timeline theory elements to it by having a disgruntled NPC at the Kakariko Windmill in the adult timeline ranting about a mean kid ruining the windmill with a certain song. This is also where you first learn to play the Song of Storms, so you can play the song again in the child timeline, revealing that you were the mean kid all along. One does not simply combine two different timeline theories because that’ll only create confusion towards your audiences if they think deep enough. It then gets worse in the game’s ending, where after you defeat Ganondorf and save Hyrule in the adult timeline, Zelda uses the ocarina of time to send Link back to his child timeline, which apparently splits the timeline in half, thus adding the multiverse theory into the mix to further complicate things on how time travel works in this series.

This timeline’s met with a terrible fate, hasn’t it?

In the following sequel, Majora’s Mask, you are limited to 3 days to save Termina from getting crushed by the moon summoned by Skull Kid, possessed by the titular mask, and doing so requires traveling back, using the ocarina of time, to the first day over and over again to help the region’s residents while waking up the four giants to stop the moon. This game follows the time loop theory, where a character is trapped to repeat the same day over and over again until he/she/they find a way to break the time loop, thus adding a fourth timeline theory to further confuse audiences because if we’re to believe the series follows multiverse theory, then Link has pretty much doomed Termina in the other timelines he’s left. Originally, I thought the reason for all this was because of the ocarina of time itself. We know for a fact that it has magical properties, so it’s also possible that it also has the power to use whatever timeline theory it likes. But then it doesn’t explain the previous time travel changes in OoT where it wasn’t used, as well as the next Zelda title we’ll be talking about.

What chronologically started it all

Skyward Sword, which is currently the first game in the official timeline, is another Zelda title that has time travel involved, by introducing the existence of time gates after completing the third dungeon. The game follows the fixed timeline theory where Zelda enters one of the time gates to the past to seal herself in crystal form for decades until Demise, Ganondorf’s earliest incarnation, is fully destroyed in the present time. This implies that two Zeldas exist during beginning events of the game: one who is thriving in Skyloft, and another who is sealed at the surface world. This is further cemented by the very end of the game where Impa, a recurring supporting character in the series, decides to guard the master sword in the past, and when Link and co. return to their present time, it turns out that the old lady who’s been helping Link throughout the game since he’s stepped foot on the surface world was Impa all along. This is surprisingly the most straightforward use of time travel compared to later games that chronologically came after it, further implying that the fixed timeline is the canon theory if not for the other time traveling devices such as the ocarina of time that adds in other timeline theories into the mix. Perhaps this wouldn’t have been a problem if there wasn’t an official Zelda timeline in the first place and all titles are in their own self-contained timelines, still staying true to how there’s always a different Link, a different Zelda, and a different Ganon.

A breath of fresh air

And that’s how the Breath of the Wild timeline feels like: a complete reboot to the series containing the best elements from the other timelines, combined with its own unique elements into the fray. Age of Calamity may be a case of false advertising from Nintendo’s behalf, but at least we know its use of time travel won’t have any major effects to the story in the upcoming sequel, apart from possible DLC characters who will debut from said sequel for AoC, knowing that it’ll still take place in the original timeline.

The Anti-Nintendo Agenda: 4 Facts

One of my main inspirations for me trying to expose the video game industry’s anti-Nintendo agenda, is sports conspiracy writer Brian Tuohy. He has his own site called thefixisin.net, and he brings to light many of the uncomfortable truths about how professional sports are fixed. I’m basing this article off of Tuohy’s article titled “The Proof: 5 Facts”, where he lays down 5 facts about professional sports.

And I’m going to do the same here. It may sound like a pastiche based on Tuohy’s article, but my message is still the same.

For the past 8 years now, I have found myself in many arguments revolving around exposing the anti-Nintendo agenda in the video game industry. Perhaps you’re in the same boat as I am too, and you also want to work to find the truth. If that’s so – or if you think I’m just some annoying conspiracy theorist trying to defame Nintendo’s competitors, most notably Sony – then these 4 facts are for you. Let’s begin.

Continue reading “The Anti-Nintendo Agenda: 4 Facts”

Splatoween Encore: Trick or Treat

Official artwork from the Splatoon Tumblr account

Happy Friday the 13th, everyone. This article was suppose to be ready right after the Splatoween encore was over, but then work got in the way, so I didn’t have enough time to post it. Last month’s encore is Trick vs. Treat, and I’ve chosen Team Treat before because I love candy, so I’ve chosen the team now. They also won Splatoween last time, and I’ve learned from the previous encore that even teams who won the first time can win again.

My right joycon stopped drifting during my week training for the event, but now my R button wasn’t working as much, which concerned me about how I’ll be unable to use my sub-weapons effectively. Fortunately, it was working properly during the actual event. Like all Splatfest encores so far, it’s a 3-day event, so I was able to reach King/Queen status on the first day. I had more victories on Normal Mode than Pro Mode, though it could be because you get some clout points even if your team loses a match (just not as much as the winning team).

My gamble on picking the team who won last time paid off, as Team Treat won the Splatoween encore. I’m starting to notice a pattern with these encores. They get announced bi-monthly, which means we might have a holiday Splatfest encore next month and eventually the upcoming Mario Splatfest on February 2021. So, see you on December.

Resident Evil 2 (1998) review

alex9234’s Sunday Review – Halloween 2020 Special

I’m back with another review just in time for Halloween, and it’s time to review a game that I had planned on doing for a while now. Today, we’re looking at what is considered to be the best classic-style Resident Evil game in the series, and some go as far as saying that this is the pinnacle of the Resident Evil series. This game is Resident Evil 2, which originally came out on the PS1 in 1998, but was ported to the Nintendo 64 a year later. I’m going to review the N64 port of RE2, which is considered by some fans to be the definitive version of the game. RE2 is also the first Resident Evil game to come out on a Nintendo platform.

Continue reading “Resident Evil 2 (1998) review”

The Great Banjo vs. Steve Debate

Mining Away!

What was once thought as a meme pick since the Smash Wii U/3DS days became a reality, as Steve from Minecraft, as well as Zombie, Enderman, Alex and their variant alts., has joined Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as part of Fighters Pass 2. His inclusion also marks the end of the war between Banjo fans and Steve fans in a stalemate. What war exactly? The war of being the first, and possibly only, Microsoft rep in Smash.

A short summary of the fan wars

Back in 2015 during the Smash Ballot days, Microsoft CEO Phil Spencer tweeted about how he wouldn’t mind seeing Banjo & Kazooie in Smash because of their previous partnership with Nintendo during the GBA and DS days. This sparked hope for Banjo fans and made sure to vote for the bear and bird duo in the ballot as much as possible. Meanwhile, Steve fans have been constantly requesting their character to director Masahiro Sakurai on Miiverse, Twitter, and the Smash ballot, whether as a joke or as a serious pick. For the latter side of the fans, when it came to the announcement of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, this caused a bitter rivalry between them and Banjo fans. Both sides shared their arguments for their character and against their rival’s character.

For the Banjo fans, they argued that the duo has been long-requested since Melee, back when they were Nintendo characters before their parent company Rare Ware was bought by Microsoft. Banjo-Kazooie is considered a legacy series for how critically acclaimed the first two games were, and since Ultimate has been added other long-requested characters in the roster such as Metroid villain Ridley and Donkey Kong’s nemesis King K. Rool, they believe Banjo is next in line to be added. They argue against Steve for, aside from being a meme pick that appeals to zoomers and for Minecraft’s cringy fanbase that spawned over the past decade, being too stiff and awkward to work as a playable fighter due to the nature of Minecraft’s blocky art style.

For the Steve fans, they argued that Minecraft has become the best-selling game of all time, grossing over 200 million units since 2009, due to being easily available on every electronic devices. It has become a modern classic to which Steve is among other iconic video game characters like Mario and Sonic. And since Ultimate has a large cast of iconic characters in the roster, it would make sense for Steve to join in as well. They argue against Banjo for being from a dead franchise (there hasn’t been a new game since 2008) that only appeals to 30-year-old boomers and would be seen as “literal whos” in today’s generation of gamers.

Neither characters were added into the base roster of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but when the Fighters Pass was announced, the rivalry continued on. They believed only one of them could get in as our first and only Microsoft rep because no one knew at that time that we’ll ever get a second Fighters Pass, and if they do think there will be one, then it’s only viewed as a pipedream. During that period, both sides were using whatever leaks, rumors, and promotional merchandises they could find to back up their characters’ chances of being DLC fighters. When E3 2019 rolled around, Banjo & Kazooie were revealed before Steve, bringing cheer and rejoice from Banjo fans, believing that they have won the war. But then came the following year.

When Sakurai first introduced Sans from Undertale as a deluxe Mii costume, where instead of hat or wig for your Mii fighter, it’s a whole head to cover your Mii’s face, many people believe Steve would get the same treatment as a Mii Swordfighter costume because they still think he’s too stiff and awkward to work as a playable fighter. But then Steve was revealed on October 1st, 2020, proving his doubters and haters wrong. And it goes deeper. Not only was it confirmed that Minecraft on Nintendo systems was got paved the way to get Banjo in Smash, but it was revealed that Steve has been negotiated for Smash 5 years ago, meaning that both characters were planned since the beginning, thus rendering this fan war pointless.

Image
Is it finally his time to rip and tear in Smash?

Now that this 5-year war is over, this leads into another question: Will there be a 3rd Microsoft character in Fighters Pass 2? That depends if you believe in the “one character per company per pass” fan rule, in which case, there won’t be another Microsoft rep after Steve. The only possible exception is a Bethesda character because the characters for Fighters Pass 2 has been decided back in November 2019, according to Sakurai during his Byleth presentation, which is almost a year before Microsoft bought Zenimax Media (Bethesda’s parent company). But you would think they save the Vault Boy Mii costume for a Bethesda character instead of revealing it at Min Min’s presentation. Because of this reason, I have doubts for a 3rd Microsoft rep until any confirmation of a Fighters Pass 3, which I also doubt because Sakurai really needs that vacation.

Splatfest Encore: Chicken vs. Egg

Official artwork from the Squid Research Lab

Better late than never, here’s an overview retrospective of last month’s Splatfest encore, which is the never-ending debate on what came first: the chicken or the egg. If you’ve already studied evolution at your science class, then you would know the answer is objectively the egg, for it has existed long before the first chicken was ever hatched from one. And yet despite this, Team Chicken won last time, and I thought it had more to do with it being associated with white ink (because “haha, semen”). On the last encore, Team Ketchup got its revenge on Team Mayonnaise, so I was hoping Team Eggs gets its due.

Those 3 days were a nightmare though, as I’ve been fighting more members of Team Egg than I did against Team Chicken. And because we don’t get rewarded any clout points for beating our own teammates, coupled with my right joycon drifting during that time, it made our chances of victory slim.

History repeats itself

And so, in the end, Team Chicken won the Splatfest for the second time. It made me wish both our teams were more evened out, so we would’ve gotten more clout points. We still got one more Splatfest to go, which is the Mario-themed Splatfest coming early next year as part of Super Mario Bros.’s 35th anniversary celebration (Team Super Star for me).

The Politics of Sonic the Hedgehog, Or Why Metal Sonic Is Better Than Shadow

Sonic has had his fair share of rivals throughout the past 29 years of his gaming career. From the memeable Knuckles the Echidna to the edgy Shadow the Hedgehog to the loudmouth Jet the Hawk. But out of all rivals, none are as influential as Sonic’s original rival, who is his robotic doubleganger Metal Sonic. Before we can delve into why Metal Sonic is overall best rival, we’ll need to look into, *gasps*, the political ideology of the Sonic series as a whole to better understand Metal’s existence.

Since the very first game, the Sonic series has always had an environmental message about the dangers of industrialization and capitalism. Dr. Eggman wants to enslave local wildlife by shoving them into his robots and use their land for free real estate, expanding his empire. Sonic wants none of that and goes out to destroy Eggman’s machines and free all of his animal friends. It confuses me as to why so many geeks and gamers were praising the new Sonic movie for being a fun “apolitical” movie without even knowing the series’ political messages and how said movie strip those away. Heck, this theme was even further expanded upon in Sonic CD, where one of its gameplay elements allows you to time travel to a bad future if you didn’t destroy all the enemy robots in the present or destroy the robot factory from the past. And continuing with the Sonic CD talk…

The game is where we are first introduced to Metal Sonic, who was created by Dr. Eggman to be better than Sonic in every way. Although far from the first robotic doubleganger in the series (that title belongs to the one in Sonic the Hedgehog 2), he is by far the most unique of the bunch for being a recurring character that shows up from time to time and serves as the anti-thesis of Sonic himself. Sonic has a care-free nature who doesn’t play by the rules from authorities, especially ones that try to invade his home and enslave his friends to do their bidding. Metal Sonic shares the same speed, as well as a similar cocky personality, as regular Sonic, with the only difference being how he embraces the industrial life and its robotic being.

Many of Sonic’s other rivals post-Metal fail to share the same political themes as him. Knuckles ends up becoming a friendly rival after his debut, but I guess you could argue about his race in Sonic Adventure being an allegory for Indigenous people. Though unlike the ones in real life, they didn’t die off from colonialism but by a ticked off ancient god. A similar argument can be said about Jet the Hawk and his Babylonian Rogue heritage. And as for Shadow, he had something going for his backstory and all, but now SEGA ruined him and has become a poster child of everything wrong with the concept of edgy characters. And don’t get me started on Sonic’s other rivals like Silver the Hedgehog and Infinite. The point being, Metal Sonic is the better rival to Sonic in both characteristics, abilities, and political theming. Now I wonder what kind of new rival will SEGA create for the blue blur in the next mainline game.

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